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Jewish family history
Researching immigrant ancestors
They say ‘write about what you know’ so thanks to popular demand, I’ve decided to embark on a series of posts focusing specifically on one of my key areas interest of interest: researching immigrant ancestors to the UK. In this and subsequent posts, I intend to use Jewish immigrants (my specialist subject) as my touchstone...
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Poor neglected blog. I’m prompted to get back to it, thanks to a recent run of what us family history dorks sometimes call ‘genealogical serendipity’. This will perhaps ring most bells with more experienced family historians but it has relevance for beginners too. Genealogical serendipity tends to strike when a brick wall you’ve previously encountered in...
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Find the right researcher for your family history journey
Finding the right researcher to investigate your family tree is not necessarily an easy task.  Professional genealogists are few and far between, and it can be difficult to know whether someone has the expertise, interests and communication skills you need.  This decision can be a significant one: researching your family history may be amongst the...
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Research your family history using cemetery records
I recently spent a sunny afternoon with a local history group transcribing graves in a village churchyard. It reminded what an amazing and sometimes unexpected resource gravestones can be for tracing your family history. Cemeteries are living lessons in history, sometimes telling us as much about the people who buried the dead as the person...
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Jewish genealogy specialists
Several years ago when I began researching my own Jewish ancestry, an elderly relative sent me a scuffed piece of paper with a list of unfamiliar names.  These, I was told, were my great-grandfather’s siblings – the Lewkowicz family – from Lodz, Poland.  Then, I knew little more than my great-grandfather’s name and that he...
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East End Family History
In the opening of The Go-Between (1953), the novelist L.P. Hartley wrote famously: “The past is a foreign country…”.  The phrase has been overused to the point of proverb, but it returned to mind recently when working on the history of an East End London family in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  This family...
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